Misamis Oriental used to be a part of Cebu. In 1818, it became a "Corregimento" made up of four "Partidos" or divisions; namely, Partido de Misamis, Partido de Dapitan, Partido de Cagayan and Partido de Catarman.
During the latter part of the 19th century, Misamis was one of the six districts of Mindanao, and later, one of the seven districts in Mindanao and Sulu at the close of the Spanish era with Cagayan de Misamis, (now Cagayan de Oro), as its capital. When it was still a part of the district of Cebu, there were twelve Spaniards and nine Filipinos who successively served as "Governadore" with Mayor Carabello as the first governor in 1874. Misamis Oriental used to be a part of the bigger unit of Misamis province, sharing a deep history with its sister, Misamis Occidental.
Misamis Oriental is one of the 25 provinces of Mindanao and one of the 5 in the region of Northern Mindanao.